Colorado fought back from a 2-1 deficit against Oregon State to force a fifth and deciding set Saturday night in Corvallis, Ore., but was unable to complete the comeback, falling just short 25-15, 23-25, 25-17, 18-25, 15-13.
Sophomore Alexa Smith led the Buffs for the third straight match, recording 20 kills, as CU dropped to 13-13 overall and 5-11 in the Pac-12. Oregon State, which was led by Mary-Kate Marshall's 21 kills, improved to 11-16 and is now 4-12 in conference play.
Smith didn't just do well for the Buffs offensively, but was a great defender with 14 digs and a pair of blocks. Freshman Justine Spann was second on the team offensively with a career-high 12 kills and also added seven digs and three blocks. Sophomore Naghede Abu had the best hitting efficiency for CU at .533 with eight kills on 15 errorless attacks.
Abu also led the Buffs in blocks with nine, posting one solo and eight assists. CU did well at the net as junior, Joslyn Hayes, recorded seven block assists in addition to five kills. Senior Cierra Simpson earned her sixth 20-plus dig performance of the season with a match-high 23 digs. Another senior, Kiara McKibben, earned a career-best 19 digs while handing out 22 assists for her sixth double-double of the season.
The Buffs head back to Boulder for their final home stand of the 2016 season. They will host No. 11 Washington on Nov. 18, at 8 p.m., and on Nov. 20, will take on Washington State at noon in the home finale.